I’m sort of lukewarm environmentally. The kind of person that irritates both committed environmentalists and global warming deniers. I use cloth diapers because it saves money. I recycle items (like washing machines!) if it’s convenient. I buy less processed food because it’s cheaper. I walk because I need the exercise. I’m sort of green.
Also in the crunchy camp is sustainable, fair trade food practices. I like to support our local farmers by buying their goods because the produce tastes better, but because also in my heart-of-hearts they remind me of my farmer grandpa. I also was feeling pretty good about myself for buying Starbucks coffee because they claim to fairly pay the coffee growers from whom they buy their beans.
Then this past spring I interviewed an anthropologist for a freelance story on her research on coffee farmers, and discovered I’d been “green washed.” Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts coffee were really just patrolling their own Nike sweatshops. This knowledge obligated me to change coffee providers, and led me on a long, painful search for Fair Trade Certified coffee that doesn’t taste like old shoe. I finally found a Trader Joe’s brand fair trade coffee that was pretty ok. And I’ve drunk it for about four months now.
Yesterday I ran out of my righteous fair trade coffee and I’m not planning a trip to our closest Trader Joe’s, which is 90+ miles away, any time soon. And the Dark Mother started calling me. I may have driven to Starbucks and bought half a pound of fresh bold roasted Pike Place. It could be sitting in my cabinet this very moment. And I may be feeling profoundly guilty right now. But it was exquisite.
Someone please recommend a brand of good, dark fresh roasted, fair trade coffee that I can buy via the Internet?